I’ve got to be honest: part of me wants to become a really big deal. I want the followers, the platform, the influence.
It’s why I keep returning to these words by Francis Schaeffer.
We should seek the lowest place because there it is easier to be quiet before the face of the Lord…
Quietness and peace before God are more important than any influence a position may seem to give, for we must stay in step with God to have the power of the Holy Spirit…
Take the smaller place so you have quietness before God.
In his sermon “No Little People, No Little Places,” Schaeffer encourages those who feel inadequate: God uses weak people. “The Scripture emphasizes that much can come from little if the little is truly consecrated to God. There are no little people and no big people in the true spiritual sense, but only consecrated and unconsecrated people.” If you know you are weak, you’re well positioned for God to use you as long as you surrender this weakness to him.
But Schaeffer also addresses those of us with the opposite problem, those who struggle with unrealized dreams of advancement. He tackles our pride and egotism. “This attitude, taken from the world, is more dangerous to the Christian than fleshly amusement or practice. It is the flesh.”
The problem is that this egotism exists in every one of us. “Christian. In every one of us there remains a seed of wanting to be boss, of wanting to be in control and have the word of power over our fellows.” Schaeffer helps us respond to this desire by pointing to the alternative offered to us through Christ: that we become servants. As servants, we follow the example of Jesus and choose the lower place. “Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God’s place for us, at each moment.”
It’s okay to go unrecognized by the world when we known and loved by God.
It’s okay to wash the feet of the humblest among us when Christ has washed our feet.
It’s okay to serve only a small number of people when we see the dignity of the people Christ has called us to serve.
Everything in the world tells us the opposite, which is why we must remind ourselves of these truths often. When you’re weak, you’re well positioned for God to use you, as long as you surrender that weakness to God. When you think your ministry is insignificant, you may be exactly where God wants you. Your ministry isn’t as insignificant as it may appear from the vantage point of heaven.
This morning I opened Facebook — not always a good idea — and read these words:
Christian contentment, therefore, is the direct fruit of having no higher ambition than to belong to the Lord and to be totally at His disposal in the place He appoints, at the time He chooses, with the provision He is pleased to make." (Sinclair Ferguson)
I’m not there yet, but that’s my goal.
It’s a privilege to be no big deal. I’m praying that God allows me to believe that even when my pride is clamoring for more.